Pondy to Kumbakonam
Road Trip Chennai Pondy Madurai Vembanad Kochi Wayanad Coorg
Road Trip Chennai Pondy Madurai Vembanad Kochi Wayanad Coorg via Kumbakonam Tanjavur Karaikudi Periyar Gavi Vagaman Mysore Yelagiri
We were supposed to stop at Brihadeeswarar Temple Gangaikondacholapuram but we decided to head straight to Kumbakonam and see the Chola Temple and other temples there, Kumbakonam being a temple town with literally scores of temples. Thus we drove right thru and reached at about 1:30 PM, tried a few hotels and then settled for Vinayaga opposite the railway station. They served good homely lunch thali, everything in the thali was tasty. At 4 PM we headed to the temples, which have an afternoon break from 12:00 till 4:30 PM. First stop was the town center main temple with its customary elephant. It is a great temple with many stone pillars to hold up the carved stone top, Adi Kumbeswarar Koil (Temple). Then we proceeded to the Chola Temple, Airavatesvarar Koil at Darasuram. This was quite another thing. The magnitude of the temple is stunning with hundreds of carved stone pillars and statues. Later when we checked on google we discovered that this is the smallest of the 3 Chola temples! Still majestic and magnificent.
Once back at the hotel we left the car and walked into town in search of coffee roasters. We got to ‘Shakti Coffee’ roaster but were told that ‘Padma Coffee’ supplies to many coffee shops, both are excellent. We had snacks at ‘Aryas’, highly recommend this place for the tastes and flavors of this town. I had Adai and wife tried the Kuzhipaniyaram (3 salty and 2 sweet balls) and Idlis. Then the coffee. On the way to Aryas we had stopped at a shop selling excellent coffee at Rs.10/- a shot, and so on our way back I had two more coffees.
Later it started to rain so we negotiated with an auto to take us to Padma Coffee en-route to the Vinayaga Hotel (Rs.80/-). So we got the best Padma Coffee at Rs.38.50 / 100 grams and got two packets of 100 grams of roasted and ground coffee. Leo coffee in Chennai was Rs.50/- for 100 grams, and Shakti’s top coffee was Rs.40/-, the most popular is also the cheapest!
Later in the night I booked a hotel on hotels.com, my favorite hotel booking site, Fast Track Tanjavur.